Question about bluetooth 5.0 throughput and BT headphone stuttering

Hey all, quick question:

This isn’t TR specific, but I’ve been struggling with my bluetooth headphones while also using either TR or Zwift and a bluetooth HRM. It seems like as soon as I connect my Kickr to either my Macbook Pro or my desktop with USB bluetooth 4.0 adapter, my headphones start stuttering like crazy.

My assumption is that it has to do with the low throughput of BT 4.0.

So, couple questions:

  1. Would moving to a 5.0 adapter help alleviate this?
  2. I don’t think any of my devices (HRM, headphones, Kickr) are BT 5.0- does that matter? I’m not chasing improvements other than increased data rate, but I don’t know if the adapter being 5.0 helps if my devices aren’t.
  3. Any other suggestions? I’m guessing an ANT adapter for the Kickr would help, but ideally I’d like to keep everything BT if possible.

I have this same issue on my laptop. And it’s the weirdest thing. I can listen to a whole 15 minute YouTube video and then as soon as the next video loads and starts the audio stutters like crazy. I don’t know if my issue is connected to yours but I thought I’d add in my anecdotal data point.

The fix for me is to disconnect and reconnect my headphones in the Bluetooth settings menu.

That’s strange for sure… I’m pretty sure (anecdotally, lol) that mine has something to do with bluetooth being bandwidth limited. As soon as I connect my Kickr, audio quality becomes unlistenable, and that’s the same behavior on two different computers, one Mac one Windows. I don’t know for sure though.

Try forgetting the device (headphones/earbuds) in your Bluetooth settings and then pairing it again. I have wireless earbuds which sometime do as you describe. Other times, the remote buttons on the earbuds cease to function or I lose sound in one side. Forgetting the and re-pairing solves it immediately. Oddly, it can be a day or weeks between hiccups :man_shrugging:

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Well they work perfectly fine when the Kickr isn’t connected. And it’s not just one pair of headphones, sadly. Basically, two computers, two different headphones, as soon as the Kickr turns on, the audio gets crap. Disconnect the Kickr, everything is fine. :frowning: It’s very repeatable (unfortunately.)

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Hmm, I reread your original post. Once upon a time, I did Zwift and TR and music on my MacBook. I had some odd issues. My conclusion at the time was poor antennae design and/or location causing issues w/WiFi and/or Bluetooth. My solution at the time was to move the music to my phone.

Now I typically run Zwift on AppleTV (Bluetooth) and TR on my MacBook (ANT+). Music is via Bluetooth to my iPhone.

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Alright, update for anyone who stumbles on this in the future:

I solved the problem!

So thankfully, because I’m one of 4 people who still have a desktop computer, I was able to buy and install a PCI-e wifi and bluetooth card, specifically this one:
https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/pci-adapter/archer-tx3000e/

Now, to be clear, this is a bluetooth 5 card, but none of my devices are bluetooth 5. Previously, I was using a USB bluetooth adapter, as well as a USB wifi adapter, in my dekstop, and my macbook of course had bluetooth built in.

I’m not exactly sure how this is fixing the problem, but I suspect the bandwidth is the reason. Anyway, today I had a rock steady connection to BT using my Kickr, BT HRM, and BT headphones. All went well.

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